Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Full-Bottomed Indelicacy of the Ancients

When I was younger, I used to snigger endlessly over the Epigrams of Martial. That was many years ago. Just now, though, I was checking a reference, and I came across this in Bk XI:


Deprensum in puero tetricis me vocibus, uxor,
corripis et culum te quoque habere refers.
Dixit idem quotiens lascivo Juno Tonanti?
Ille tamen grandi cum Ganymede jacet.
Incurvabat Hylan posito Tirynthius arcu:
tu Megaran credis non habuisse natis?
Torquebat Phoebum Daphne fugitiva: sed illas
Oebalius flammas jussit abire puer.
Briseis multum quamvis aversa jaceret,
Aeacidae propior levis amicus erat.
Parce tuis igitur dare mascula nomina rebus
teque puta cunnos, uxor, habere duos.

This wasn’t what I was looking for. But the final couplet has brightened my morning. Note also the innocent, rising tone of “Dixit idem quotiens lascivo Juno Tonanti….”

If I taught Martial in any of my occasional Latin courses, I’d almost certainly have the Plod on my back (er!)

O Saeclum insapiens et infacetum!

What are Chinese colleges like?

by Tim Swanson

For roughly three years I had the opportunity to live and work at two colleges out here in China. I could describe any number of observations but one that sticks out at this time is the role the Communist Party plays in curriculum. Continue reading

Brief Note on Original Performances

I’m presently finishing a book, and am otherwise busy with going through a student’s thesis. However, I’ve been listening in whatever breaks I can get to Beethoven S3, Hogwood/AAM. I don’t like their BS8 – brutal tempi, even if the metronome markings may call for them. BS3, though, is done very well. The tempi are much closer to what you get from Bohm/Klemperer/Karajan. The performance is generally civilised and well-balanced, and also exciting. What I particularly like is that I can hear the scoring, which is something you often don’t get with c20 mainstream performances. Continue reading

Persecution of the Churches: The Canary in the Mineshaft

Sock Puppet Report Touches A Nerve?

by Dick Puddlecote

A new graphic has appeared on the Cancer Research UK website, most probably following something the IEA said recently.

In the last 15 years, state funding of charities in Britain has increased significantly. 27,000 charities are now dependent on the government for more than 75 per cent of their income and the ‘voluntary sector’ receives more money from the state than it receives in voluntary donations.

It looks something like this. Continue reading

The Dialectic of Destruction

by Murray Rothbard

[This article is excerpted from volume 2, chapter 10 of An
Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought

(1995). An MP3 audio file of this chapter, narrated by Jeff
Riggenbach, is available
for download

Some might protest that, in our discussion of communism, we have not mentioned the feature that is generally considered the hallmark of that system: the slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This phrase seems to contradict our view that the essence of the communist society is a secularized religion rather than economics. The locus classicus, however, of Marx’s proclamation of this well-known slogan of French socialism, was in the course of his vitriolic Critique of the Gotha Program in 1875, in which Marx denounced the Lassallean deviationists who were forming the new German Social Democratic Party. And it is clear from the context of his discussion that this slogan is of minor and peripheral importance to Marx. In point 3 of his Critique, Marx is denouncing the clause of the program calling for communization of property and “equitable distribution of the proceeds of labour.” In the course of his discussion, Marx states that inequality of labor income is “inevitable in the first stage of communist society, … when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and the cultural development thereby determined.” On the other hand, Marx goes on, Continue reading

Unilateral Free Trade

by Patrick Barron

The Only International Economic Policy That a Country Needs: “Mind Your Own Business and Set a Good Example.”

The international economic scene is dominated by state interventions at all levels. Daily we read of disputes over exchange-rate manipulation, protectionist tariffs followed by retaliatory tariffs, highly regulated free-trade blocs that erect trade barriers to nonbloc nations, bilateral trade agreements, and more. For instance, Great Britain is a member of the European Union (EU) but not of the European Monetary Union (EMU), meaning that it abides by all the regulations and pays all the assessments to remain a member of the EU in order to trade freely with the other members of the 27-country EU. But it does not use the common currency, the euro, which is used by only 17 of the EU members. British industry chafes at the many seemingly meaningless and bizarre regulations that raise the cost of British goods just so Britain can trade freely within the EU. Some regulations are so onerous that some British manufactures will be put out of business. The pro-EU faction in Britain, such as the leadership of the three main parties — the Conservatives, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats — recognizes the damage but proposes to lobby for special exemptions on a case-by-case basis. The anti-EU faction, led by the United Kingdom Independent Party (UKIP), wants Britain out of the EU entirely, arguing that the cost of membership is too great and that the loss of sovereignty is unconstitutional. The same debate can be seen within every EU nation to some degree. Continue reading